Do Social Media Firms Need PR?

Do Social Media Firms Need PR?

Now those are five words I would never, ever, in a thousand years or the length of my career, whichever came first, thought I would think, let alone utter out loud and blog about.

But yep. That’s what I am thinking here. I think I need a PR firm and I am on the hunt. But wait a second, how could I need a PR firm? Isn’t what social media and digital strategy all just glorified PR anyway? Isn’t it basically the same thing? Consider this an opening salvo, and furthermore, consider this a prediction: we will see PR firms being retained by digital and social media strategy firms, if they aren’t already.

The reason is simple, PR and social media are different beasts. They serve different functions and have different goals. Sometimes these goals, functions and activities intersect, but that just obfuscates the truth that PR and social media are worlds apart. And may always be. Not a bad thing.

I used to believe that PR firms and social media strategists or digital agencies would eventually collide in a battle for the future of branding/ marketing complex. I no longer feel that way.

I don’t think social media strategists or firms are ever going to be nearly as good at attracting the attention of the press and influential media outlets as PR firms are. I don’t they should be. I think that they should concentrate on coming up with the right platforms and executable ideas for their clients and not worry about the promotion part. Build it and they will come right?

Or is that wrong? The truth is I’ve worked on a number of clients where PR was alluded to, but we never really concentrated on it. Wanna know why?

Because the client eventually realized that what we were building, the ideas we generated and then executed, were FAR more important, more lasting and ultimately more satisfying to THEM than any press attention, and corresponding bump in business, ever could be. Every single client I have worked with has hired me to help them build their business. And every single client has ended up not really caring whether or not their business grew as a direct result of our actions. Because they believed in me and my team. They believed in the worthiness of the project. I am hedging a bit here, sure. You can understand why. I don’t want to piss anyone off.

I personally believe that what I do will help my client’s build their business far more than any momentary press attention. Not sure that’s why I do it though.



  1. Everyone can use a bit of PR. Whether through Social Media or any other Media stream, all the ads, articles, blog posts, mentions, and etc. are a part of PR. Good post.

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